IAF participation in Australia's air war games Ex Pitch Black 2018
19 July 2018
Indian Air Force fighters are participating for the first time in Australian air exercises in Exercise Pitch Black 2018, scheduled from 24 Jul to 18 Aug in Australia.
Pitch Black is a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The IAF contingent consists of 145 air-warriors including the Garud team, four Su-30 MKI, one C-130 and one C-17 aircraft.
The contingent is being led by Group Captain CUV Rao VM. The Indian contingent expects to undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment and have a mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing IAF operational capability.
During the flight from India to Australia and back, Su-30 MKI will carry out air-to-air refuelling with IL-78 tankers. After completion of the exercise, on its return leg from Darwin to Subang, the Su-30 MKI will be refuelled in air for the first time by RAAF KC-30A.
In Australia, the IAF will participate in the mega exercise, which will involve over 100 aircraft from around the globe.
The exercise will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment. Participation in multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries.
Over the last decade, the IAF has been actively participating in operational exercises hosted by various countries, with collaborative engagements undertaken with the best air forces in the world. During the transit to Australia, IAF contingent will also have constructive engagement with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces.